10.29.09+Rock+Meanings+MUSIC+NEW

10.29.09+Rock+Meanings+MUSIC+NEW - COMMUNICATION AND P...

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COMMUNICATION AND POPULAR CULTURE Popular Music and Mass Culture
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Mass Culture and Cultural Commodity Selection The emergence of a “mass media” created centralized and commercialized entities that control what people hear As fewer people made music for themselves, public taste was easier to control Popular music emerged from the processes of commodity production and selection
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Mass Cultural Production The mass cultural commodity abides by formulas that limit creativity Mass produced for an audience of consumers making market choices which limit artistic response Very Fiske. Since they are choosing from the cultural repertoire, they are not responding to the commodity with subcultural struggle There are negotiations – i.e. what records sell and what don’t - but those choices are limited to the cultural commodities available
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Mass Culture/Adorno & The Frankfurt School Mass culture: Assumes audiences are passive Does not make artistic demands of audiences Assumes it can lure consumers with “stars” Mass music consumers have no real relationship with either the music’s producers or their fellow consumers Myth of the mass consumer as the “common man/woman” But like we’ve said before – we are not the “common man/woman” We are unique and discriminating consumers
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On Popular Music Theodor Adorno Active vs. Passive Audiences 3 Claims Music is standardized Promotes passive listening Operates as a “social cement” Psycho-social adjustment to the needs of the superstructure Writing in 1941
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Examples
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On Popular Music One could make the argument though – that sub-cultures, or music taste cultures listen to pop music in an active fashion, more similar to the consumption of “serious music”
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